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Paul's Letter To The Ephesians

There can be no doubt that this is one of the "prison" epistles. Three times the apostle refers to himself as a prisoner. "I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you Gentiles" (3:1); "I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called" (4:1). When writing of the mystery of the gospel, the apostle states, "For which I am an ambassador in chains" (6:20).

It will be observed from the marginal note in the Revised Version that some doubt exists as to the words "at Ephesus" in the opening verse. Some very ancient authorities omit these words. The view has been advanced that this was a circular letter, and copies may also have gone to other churches. If this were so, we would have expected to find it addressed to "the churches in Asia".

We know from Acts 20:31 that Paul spent three years in Ephesus, and during that period he must have built up an intimate knowledge of the saints in that city. In his letter, he does not mention one. Indeed, the only person mentioned is Tychicus, "the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord", whom the apostle sent to make known all things regarding his state. The same brother was sent to Colossae (Col. 4:8).

Being chained to a Roman soldier, and in close contact with the Roman Legions, may have influenced the apostle as he wrote in detail of the armour of God (6:10-18).